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Screenshot slide show: World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade

Level up and go through the Dark Portal in this expansion to Blizzard's megapopular MMORPG <cnet:link int="/World_of_Warcraft_PC/4505-9696_7-31204557.html"><i>World of Warcraft</i></a>. Two new playable species, an entire new continent to explore, and a higher level cap will make <i>Burning Crusade</i> the must-have title for all <i>Warcraft</i> fans, even the level-60 endgamers who have been grinding for months. <i>Burning Crusade</i> hits PCs everywhere in January 2007.

Will Greenwald

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Through this foreboding gateway lies a world filled with combat, mysticism, and high-level mobs that will mop the floor with you.
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The Blood Elves join the Horde in Burning Crusade, and they're adding a much-needed shot of pretty to the faction's otherwise homely roster. These mystical renegades are the survivors of Arthas' slaughter of the High Elves in Warcraft 3, and they're not too happy about being the only ones left. They're the only Horde race that can become the Paladin class.
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While the Blood Elves join the Horde, the Draenei join the Alliance. These blue-skinned forest-dwellers will finally give the Shaman class to the Alliance.
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Outland rests just beyond the Dark Portal, and it's much more deadly than it is pretty. This demon-scorched land was originally the home world of the orcs, before they came to Azeroth through the Dark Portal.
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One of Burning Crusade's most interesting additions is its new flying mounts. While only available in Outland, these mounts finally put the reins in your hands. Flying monsters are already used a great deal in World of Warcraft, but they're all automated, point-to-point travel devices.
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You don't have to simply fly around on your new mount. You can use devastating aerial attacks to take out enemies on the ground while staying relatively safe.
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Jewelmaking is Burning Crusade's newest craft skill. Besides making attractive magical jewelry to boost stats, skilled jewelcrafters can cut special gems to be mounted in socketed items that are found in Outland, making these items even more powerful.
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The new zones in Burning Crusade will be big and full of quests and monsters. According to a recent preview in GameSpot, the zones in Outland will be about one-and-a-half times the size of those in Azeroth. Good thing Outland has flying mounts.
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Blizzard loves sticking little pop culture references and nostalgic in-jokes into World of Warcraft. If you don't recognize this manly warrior, then you must have slept through the 1980s.

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